Admittedly, after a day in the kitchen, there are times I just want to go out to dinner.
Unfortunately, by the time I get home, change out of my chef clothes, read the mail, and pet the pets, the thought of leaving the house seems more like a chore than anything else.
And I should know better. I play this scenario out over and over again, especially in the winter months.
What seemed like a great idea on the drive home usually dissolves into a comfortable evening in my own kitchen, and that’s not so bad when I have a yen for something I have the ingredients to make–and make fast, because that’s the other catch; I don’t really feel like cooking–at least not something complicated. And I certainly don’t feel like making an entrée, a starch, and a vegetable.
I do like soups, however.
The problem with soup as my 1st choice is that for the most part, soups themselves are not a real meal for me. They’re usually a prelude to something I end up having to cook later to satisfy my real hunger, so I’m not really solving my “I don’t really want to spend my time cooking” challenge, unless I make one of my entrée soups.
Entrée soups aren’t something new. Bouillabaisse, the Mediterranean seafood stew, is an entrée soup, and Gumbo is another.
The idea of an entrée soup is that the broth or base is almost a thin sauce that abundantly smothers the meaty ingredients. Generally, the soup is half garnish and half liquid, and ideally, there’s some protein, some vegetables, and a starch as part of the dish.
A soup I made recently that I really love is kind of a hybrid. It’s a soup alright, but it has all the flavors of a 7-Layer Dip. If you use my Enchilada Sauce version, it’s almost like a Chicken Enchilada soup.
Now, I keep individually portioned raw chicken breasts readily available in my freezer, but if you buy one of Nino’s fantastic Rotisserie Chickens on your way home, it will save you a lot of time. (And I love that part.)
Chimayo Smoky Black Bean & Chicken Soup
The Base: 1 – 16 oz Can La Preferida® Refried Black Beans 3 Cups Chicken Stock/Broth <1/4 tsp Liquid Smoke Seasoning Dash Tabasco To Taste Salt & Pepper
The Garnishment: 3 Cups Pulled Meat from 1 Nino’s Rotisserie Chicken, Cut in 1” Pieces 1 Cup Nino’s Sante Fe Style Black Bean & Corn Salsa ½ Cup Sour Cream ½ Cup Monterey Jack Cheese, Shredded 2 TBSP Cilantro, Chopped 2 Cups Nino’s Corn Tortilla Chips
1. In a medium-sized sauce pan, whisk together the BASE ingredients and bring to a simmer. 2. Warm the pulled chicken meat in a microwave oven (covered), and then, in 4 individual shallow soup bowls, divide the chicken in 4 equal portions and nest/mound the chicken in the center of each of the bowls. 3. Pour the Bean Soup BASE equally over the chicken in all 4 bowls. 4. Top chicken with salsa and sour cream. 5. Garnish soup around the mounded chicken with shredded cheese and a sprinkling of fresh chopped cilantro. 6. Break the tortilla chips into large pieces and garnish over top of the salsa & soup cream. Enjoy!
This soup idea can also be used by substituting Mild Enchilada Sauce style soup using 2 cans of La Preferida® Mild Enchilada Sauce, 1 cup of Half & Half, 1 Cup of Chicken Stock/Broth, 1 tsp of Chili Powder, and 1 tsp Ground Cumin heated together.